VANCOUVER, September 19, 2019 /CNW/ – This week, the City of Vancouver and Local 1004 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing city outside workers and employees of the Vancouver Parks Board, opened collective bargaining in the first of a series of such negotiations to take place in the fall on the south coast of the BC. The union identified accessibility as a central theme in the negotiations. CUPE 1004 represents more than 1,500 employees from the City of Vancouver and the Park Board. Almost all collective agreements between municipal workers and their respective employers on the south coast expire over the next two years, affecting more than 20,000 workers in the pemberton communities of Hope. Statistics Canada inflation figures for Vancouver in 2016, 2017, 2018 show an average increase of 2.4 per cent per year. BC Stats reports that inflation in Vancouver remained above 2 per cent in August of this year and that inflation in Vancouver has been above the Canadian average every month since at least June 2017, the earliest date the report refers to. The union refers to these figures as representatives of the current crisis of affordability of its members. The Union worries its members can no longer afford to live in the communities they serve « Our members love to work for the city and serve the public, and they take great care of the different communities that make up the City of Vancouver, » said Andrew Ledger, President of CUPE 1004. Unfortunately, for many of our members, life has become less and less affordable in the communities they serve. For more information: Andrew Ledger, CUPE 1004 Chair: 604-418-9550; Steven Beasley, CUPE National Communications Representative: 778-903-7394 John Geppert (Staff Representative), Starla Bayley (Chief Shop Steward), Kyle Larson, Ian McLellan The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada`s largest union with more than 680,000 members across Canada and more than 97,000 in British Columbia. « Whether it`s workers who travel long distances to work in a community they can`t live in, or employers who are losing skilled and highly skilled workers in more affordable communities, the current dynamic is not sustainable, » Ledger said. « We already know that the annual rent increases allowed for 2020 will be 2.6%, which will further increase the pressure on an already prohibitive rental market in Vancouver. » SEIU Healthcare, OCHU-CUPE and Unifor support the changes to… To access our stewards information centre, you can call the office at any time and leave your contact information to notify a steward of the shop to call you back.